Footnotes, March-April-May 2008, Vol. 33, no. 3,4,5

Affordable Access

Footnotes, March-April-May 2008, Vol. 33, no. 3,4,5

  • Public Libraries
  • Library Systems
  • Libraries And Archives


mar-apr-may08.indd Footnote s1 State Library of Iowa Volume 33, No. 3-5 March-April-May 2008 Inside this issue Library customers like to play with Playaways East Central Library Services (ECLS) was awarded a federal Library Services and Tech- nology Act grant through the State Library of Iowa in 2007 for a Playaway demonstra- tion project that proved to be popular with library customers. ECLS purchased 155 Playaways, which are self-contained, battery operated audio books, along with batteries and earbuds. According to ECLS administrator Lily Lau, the Playaways were divided into six boxes of 25-26 each and loaned to 15 libraries for two months at a time. The units began circulating in April 2007 and are booked solid until July 2009. Currently there are 23 libraries in east central using them. Each Playaway comes preloaded with best-selling books from leading publishers and comes packaged with earphones and a standard AAA battery for immediate listening. Customers received user surveys with each Playaway and were asked to fi ll them out. More than 95 percent said they were easy to use; 98 percent said they liked the format; 96 percent said they would use them again, and 94 percent said they’d recommend that the library purchase them. “A few had some issues with the battery door and the on/off button,” said Lau, “but overall, most said the Playaways were very easy to use and they loved the format.” Some of the responses Lau received to the question of whether people like them included: • “Very much! It has no scratches, unlike library audio books.” • “Yes. No skipping discs or tapes.” • “The format is more usable while doing everyday tasks.” • “I got lots of knitting done with this one!” “Playaways cost around $30 to $100,” said Lau. “I think this would be a nice county association project where the Playaways could be rotated and shared.” The Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation Board gav

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